An Introduction to Online Word Processing

This video provides a great overview of the concept of online productivity tools (word processor, presentations, spreadsheets) in under 3 minutes.


Click to take a look at Google Docs and Zoho Writer.

See this tutorial on collaborating with others with web applications like Google Docs.

Consider how these kinds of technologies could be integrated with teaching and learning and leave your ideas in the comments section below.

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

27 thoughts on “An Introduction to Online Word Processing”

  1. I have not used Google Docs yet but will definitely give it a try. I’ve been using the umdrive for the last two semesters and find it similar in ways. Umdrive has been very handy for me thus far because it allows me to work on various projects from all the different computers I use (personal,work,friends). However, when it comes to group projects google docs would be the much better option. I’m looking forward to learning this software, especially once I graduate and no longer have a umdrive.

  2. When I’ve had to do group projects in the past the hardest thing was not only getting everyone’s schedules to coincide but also finding an easy spot for everyone to gather. This program could eliminate this headache by allowing everyone to work from home or any computer. They could also work at any time as well not just when a computer lab or a meeting place was open. Since all past versions are stored a teacher could look at each version and know how much work one particular student did instead of all the work falling on one student.

  3. This is an excellent idea for group projects. I can also see how this would be useful in an English classroom for individual writing assignments. If students don’t have outside access to the Internet, a web-based word processor gives them not only a FREE program to use, but also gives them organized data storage that does not move and is not available to others. This is an idea that I can really use in the modern classroom.

  4. As one who sends and receives email attachments regularly, this seems like a great solution to the confusion that can ensue during the editing process. I guess it is similar to companies that have common drives in which all employess have access to certain files and master documents and can update them at their convenience. It’s just on a larger scale, the Internet. I think this will be great for students who want to submit rough drafts and get feedback on them quickly. They can know if they are on the right track without having to wait until class. This will make group projects easier for students as well.

  5. I have used some of Google’s online applications and I find them really effective. One way that our school has begun to integrate online Google applications is with Google calendars. In the past, our school would print off a school calendar at the beginning of the year with all progress report days, holidays, meetings, and field trips. Administrators would often have to edit and print several of these calendars off each year. Now, every teacher can visit Google calendars to get the most up-to-date version of the school calendar. We, as a faculty, have also used Google Docs for writing discussions on various topics concerning the school. Last year I also used Google Spreadsheets for keeping track of grades for a long-term assignment that was shared by another teacher and myself.

    I also believe that it could be used effectively with students. I could use it to share documents with students and a way for students to submit documents to me. I also believe that online applications can be a great way for students to work collaboratively with each other.

  6. I think this is fantastic! It also seems very user friendly. I think this would be a great tool to use in the class room for homework assignments. Students could submit the homework to me and I could review and send back. Great way to save on extra paper and get the class technologically involved. I think this would be useful for class projects as well. Students could submit their part of the project for review.

    I can’t wait to try this out!

  7. [riffly_video]408EE226582D11DDBFCCD6ACAA01D9A4[/riffly_video]

    Thanks Donna for the technological inspiration!

  8. I used to think I had a decent grip on technology; but everytime I watch one of your videos, I realize just how far behind I really am. I send a lot of pictures of my son to my family in Chicago. After this class, I am going to give Google Docs a go!

  9. Wow. Google Docs rocks. This is an amazing tool that can be used in the classroom, especially with group projects and research papers. The fact that you can access the docs from any computer anywhere is very beneficial. You don’t have to wait until you get back to your computer to work on the project nor do you have to worry about keeping up with CDs and flash drives to access the information. I will be be using Google Docs, not only for teaching and learning but for personal tasks as well.

  10. These kind of technologies can and will be integrated in my classroom in numerous of ways. I can truly say this class has taken my understanding of a Integrated classroom to a whole new level. I can use Google Docs to assign and check group projects. We can spend more time on other task instead of using class time and gas trying to complete group assignments. Google Docs is easy to access and the project will always be at the tip of everyone fingers. Google Docs allows everyone to implement their ideas into the assignment with immediate feedback which allows for corrections. The instructor can check the participation level of each and every students. I am excited and look for forward to integrating Google Docs into my classroom activities.

  11. Donna,

    Thanks for leaving an audio comment. It’s great that you were willing to take the risk and try this relatively new technology.

    I appreciate you sharing your reflection on this. I think many of us know exactly what you are describing.

  12. I have used Google Docs for classes before. I think it has great implications for those who have regular access to computers and the internet. For students who do not, however, I think it may be intimidating or at least frustrating to see the ease of use by others of a technology that they are not able to use. I understand and inform my students that the public library has internet and is open until 9pm, but that doesn’t always translate into a trip there for school work. I do think that it can be used for in-class work to keep things in a central location.

  13. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! I never in a million years would have thought of this. Now wonder Google’s stock is doing so well!!!

  14. I currently advise a student organization, and I am always needing input and revisions to documents from the leaders of the group. This would be a perfect way to get input all at once from everyone! This could also be used when small groups are working on presentations or projects. Anyone could access files from anywhere – home, computer lab, any computer anywhere. Very interesting!

  15. This really seems useful in a classroom, especially an English classroom like mine! I think it’d be so easy and beneficial for students to get immediate feedback and see the changes I have suggested on the same document they had been working with. They can even do group projects together from different places and through different classes, with each student working on or revising one piece of the document!

  16. WOW! This is a great idea! A teacher can provide feedback on their students work easily and securely without having to deal with a ton of emails and attachments. It’s also excellent for peer reviews and for students to “tweak” their work before a fianl draft is due.

  17. I haven’t visited Google Docs yet, but it is a great idea. I’ve been in classes where you have to e-mail draft after draft of a paper, and it can become time-consuming and annoying. This sounds like a great way for groups to complete a project. And on a side note, I love the way this video was set-up. I’ve watched another video set-up this way and I really liked it. Its simple, but it gets the point across.

  18. I have not used Google docs yet but after listening to the video I can’t wait to use it. I wish I had known about it earlier when I had a group research paper to complete. It would have been much easier and time efficient when having to dal with numerous rough drafts.

  19. I agree that Google documents is an amazingly convenient tool. Very handy for online collaboration with a group of people who only need to submit one report. And it does save a ton of headache and work for the team leader/presenter since google docs handles modifications. So there’s no need to read a whole document so see what someone changed. The online saving also instantly dissolves that old “my computer died” or “I lost my flash drive/cd” excuse. It’s also useful for the teacher since I can go online and monitor a groups progress and the group members contributions to the project.

  20. This was very enlightening. I already knew about creating tables and graphs in word processing programs, but never thought of these other implications. This would make a group paper, which I had to do too many of in college, far easier and interesting. Also, not having to lug floppy disks or even Flash drives around is a plus. I’ve always backed by papers up by e-mailing them to me, but will now use Google Docs also. I will encourage my students to do the same.

  21. I started using Google Docs in my classroom at the beginning of this school year. It has been great. I have had students use it to work on group research projects. It is nice because they are able to work together on the project even when they are not all together in my classroom. I have also used it to create a sort of “class library”. Students share their good projects with the class and they are able to access them and use them throughout the rest of the course.

    Another benefit I’ve noticed is students not having to worry about losing documents due to computer errors or other students messing with them because they are stored offsite and can only be accessed with a password.

    Also since students can share all their documents with me, I can view them and grade them from any computer – saving paper because I don’t have to print anything out!

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